Thinclads Squander Big Lead, Drop GBC's in Decisive Relay
Northeastern's Bob Lech stormed past Joel Peters in the last 50 yards of the mile relay Saturday to wrest the Greater Boston collegiate track championship from Harvard for only the second time in the last 12 years.
The powerful Crimson field corps had built a commanding 53-29 margin over Northeastern on Friday in Briggs cage. But the Crimson runners could not maintain the edge as the Huskies narrowed the gap to one point with only two relays remaining in the meet.
Northeastern squeaked by Harvard, 88-85. Boston College finished a strong third with 68.
"It came down to beating Harvard in the two and one-mile relays." Huskie coach Irwin Cohen said. And Northeastern did just that.
The Huskies breezed to a second in the two-mile relay behind Boston College, outdistancing the third place Crimson by nine seconds.
The mile relay was extremely tight in the first three legs with Harvard. North-eastern and Boston College all bunched at the front. In the anchor leg BC's lanky Keith Francis powered his way by Peters and Lech followed, nipping Peters for second place and the meet championship.
Most of the Crimson fireworks came in the field events on Friday, and once again it was Mel Embree providing the biggest explosions.
Embree showed no signs of slowing after upsetting Dwight Stones, the world's premier high jumper, in the Millrose games last week.
He continued his heroics by clearing 7 feet, 2 1/4 inches, for a school and meet record in the high jump and then bounded 46 feet, 2 1/2 inches, for a third in the triple jump. Embree was voted the meet's most valuable performer for his efforts.
Embree had an excellent supporting cast in the jumps. Freshman Dan Sullivan and John McCullough each leaped 6 feet, 6 inches, to give the Crimson a 1-2-3 finish in the high jump.
Ahmad Kayali triple-jumped 47 feet, 7 inches, for first. He added a fourth in the jump, behind teammates Blayne Heckel (third) and Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, who flew 24 feet, 2 inches, for a meet record.
Dov Djerassi of Northeastern highlighted the throws by heaving the 35- pound weight 67 feet, 3 1/2 inches, for a cage record. The Crimson managed a second and third in the event on the tosses of Dan Jiggetts and Steve Niemi.
The Crimson did not fare nearly as well on the oval, as it captured only one of the 11 running events. Freshman Gary Schmidt blazed the 440 in 50.4 for the lone Harvard track triumph.
Boston College garnered seven running events while Northeastern won only three. But Northeastern overall balance proved to be the difference against the talented running of BC and the exceptional Crimson field strength.